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Self-care tips from Tara Jackson

Here, holistic self-care and wellbeing coach Tara Jackson (herself an ex-PA) outlines her top tips for taking some much-needed ‘me time’ to prioritise your wellness

Do you find your weeks merging into one another as your time is spent being at work, commuting, fitting in family and friends and all their needs and wants, having to go to the supermarket, preparing and cooking meals, catching up on social media or news, and then the little time that is left is used to unwind, usually in front of the TV?

As a PA, you are the master at being on top of someone else’s diary – but when it comes to your own it can be so easy to leave yourself to the bottom of the list. Sometimes you just need a little reminder and motivation to make some more (guilt-free) time for you and use it in the best way possible. If you’ve been neglecting yourself recently, here are a few tips to help you get back on top of prioritising you.

Self-care isn’t selfish
Here’s your little reminder that you need to give to yourself first before you can give to anyone else. If you are feeling depleted and spread too thin, you’ll find yourself giving to others from a place of exhaustion and possibly resentment. Fill yourself up with what energises and nourishes you first so you can be the best you can be, and can give more to others.

Self-care doesn’t have to take loads of time or be expensive
Think about what you love that recharges you. Is it some down time reading, a hot bubble bath, a movie, or a walk in nature? Doing small things regularly that you enjoy will make the biggest change overall – especially as they are do-able and can fit into your life without too much extra effort.

Get clear on your ‘why’
If you find it easy to put yourself at the bottom of your list, you need to get really clear on your ‘why’. Why do you need to start prioritising yourself? Perhaps your health or relationships are suffering? Having a strong enough reason to encourage you to want to make change will help to keep you on track when and if you find yourself falling into old habits.

Schedule it in your diary
Have a look at your own diary and schedule in time for you weekly, if not daily. This way it’s in there as a priority so if something else comes up it’s less likely to get moved to the bottom of the list.

Tara moved to London from Kenya and found herself slipping into the habit of eating lots of carbs and drinking to excess following a lifetime of fresh food. After being a PA for 10 years, she decided to take back control and trained as a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Today she helps busy office workers focus on self-care. Twitter: @tara_jackson